ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Probable Indian Squad
With the Champions Trophy coming hot on the heels of the IPL, the selectors will look to select a balanced and in-form side.
India might have only played two ODI series in the 12 months leading up to the ICC Champions Trophy but having won both of them, they will go into the tournament with plenty of confidence. This will be Virat Kohli’s first major test as Indian limited-overs skipper and it will be interesting to see how India go about defending their crown.
With a strong batting line-up and in-form fast bowlers, India will go into the tournament high on confidence. With three teams, Australia, South Africa and Bangladesh already announcing their squads for the Champions Trophy, it is only a matter of time before India announce theirs.
With plenty of consistent performers from the domestic circuit and several national stalwarts as well, the selectors will have a tough task on their hands.
Here, we don the selector's hat and try to pick up a squad of 15 players which could eventually make the cut for the trip to England.
After an indifferent start to IPL 2017, Rohit Sharma has slowly started to find his groove in the tournament. The fact that he was coming off a long injury lay-off will have had some role in his slow start but he will definitely make it to the Champions Trophy squad irrespective of his form. Not only because he is one of the best openers in the world but also due to the lack of proven alternatives.
Shikhar Dhawan may have been dropped for the New Zealand series but the fact that KL Rahul is injured and the southpaw has been in sublime form means that he will get the nod. His partnership with Rohit Sharma at the top of the innings, which won Indian the Champions Trophy last time around, will help seal the spot. As will his great start to IPL 2017 where he has already scored over 200 runs in six matches with three forty-plus scores.
A disappointing start to the IPL and a poor run in the Test series against Australia is likely to cost Karun Nair and hand Ajinkya Rahane the backup opener slot. The fact that he can bat in the middle-order as well is an added bonus. The experience that he provides and his ability in the field is likely to secure his spot in the squad, even if he doesn't make the starting 11.